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Old 26-05-2015, 13:18   #61
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Re: Fuel Filtration Systems

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Perhaps in other countries the spelling is different?
My spelling can be "creative"

Racor is correct
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Old 26-05-2015, 13:22   #62
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Re: Fuel Filtration Systems

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
According to Reverso, the manufacturer of our fuel polishing system, the fuel in a single tank system needs to be circulated through the filter three times in order to be considered polished unless you have a two tank system with a day tank, then only one time is required.
OK. Did some googling using a variety of search terms and eventually came up with this about polishing vs filtering. From these guys The difference between Fuel Polishing and Fuel Filtration | Diesel Fuel Cleaning
The primary difference between fuel polishing and fuel filtration is that fuel polishing acknowledges that fuel itself can degrade and cause solids. Fuel filters will simply pull the solids out because they plug up filters whereas fuel polishers break down the combustible solids so that the fuel stays within the industry specifications.
“Well, why is that such a big deal?” you might ask… (Go ahead!)
Because, the solids that fuel – particularly diesel, kerosene, home heating oil, and some of the JP (jet propulsion) fuel, creates are exactly the aspects of fuel that add lubricity and BTU value to it. If you cycle the fuel through filters time after time after time after time to remove all of those solids, you’ll eventually knock the fuel out of spec! It simply won’t have the power or lubricity that your diesel engine will require!
Keep that in mind especially if you have a newer diesel engine. If your powerplant says “Tier” anything (1,2,3,4), then it is going to be VERY finicky about the fuel it consumes. If there is some sort of failure – catastrophic or not – and the manufacturer discovers that the fuel is out of spec, then there is a strong possibility that the warranty may not be available, either!

So, very interested to hear what everyone has to say about this? Over the top BS or valid concern?
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Old 26-05-2015, 13:44   #63
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Re: Fuel Filtration Systems

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Noelex, I am not sure that fuel polishing systems are really needed if you are not planning to sail in the third world. Provided you can design your fuel tank right. What you need is a decent sump with a proper drain in it – yes, I know, forbidden by various rules. Or at least a dip tube which gets right down to the bottom of the sump.
A lot of my cruising friends seem to be getting diesel bug problems so I try to take all reasonable steps to avoid the problem. Fuel polishing is only a small part of the picture, but I think it helpful. If you install the system yourself the components are not expensive. Polishing also seems to eliminate (or at least delay) the rotten job of periodically cleaning the tank.

Other steps are:

Make sure the fuel cap has a good O ring and the vent is in a sensible location.
Buy fuel from reputable high volume sellers
Test a sample of the fuel for water and clarity before it goes into the tank
Filter the fuel as it enters the tank with a funnel filter.
Have a high volume primary filter with a back up (dual filter system)
A tank with big inspection/cleaning hatches
Check a sample of the fuel from the bottom of the tank periodically.
Check a sample of the fuel from the bottom of the primary filter periodically.
Inspect the tank and clean if necessary
Carry lots of spare filters. With a bug problem they will clog very quickly
Use a biocide
Carry a spare jerry can of fuel (preferably from a different supply) and some spare fuel hose to jury rig an independent supply

Nigel Calder reports that Lucas estimates 90% of Diesel engine problems are due to fuel contamination. That sounds much high to me, but clean fuel is important to a diesel. It is worth making some effort to try and get the fuel supply as clean as possible.
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Old 26-05-2015, 14:17   #64
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Re: Fuel Filtration Systems

Oh oh. Had a great post and lost it...too bad for you guys...
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Old 26-05-2015, 14:23   #65
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Re: Fuel Filtration Systems

Skip, I think that quote is mostly bunk. Firstly most of the stuff you will filter out with a good fuel polishing system will be biological.

A good polishing system will circulate fuel far faster than any lift pump can even if all the fuel was returned to the tank.

Keep your tank clean and circulate fuel picked up and returned to the tank near the bottom of the tank at opposite ends of the tank.

You only have to have a fuel line plugged up when in a seaway once in order to realize how important clean fuel and a clean tank really are.

DH, you boat mostly in cooler climes where biological growth is not as prevalent as it is in warmer areas.
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Old 26-05-2015, 14:27   #66
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Re: Fuel Filtration Systems

From skipmac's article:

"The primary difference between fuel polishing and fuel filtration is that fuel polishing acknowledges that fuel itself can degrade and cause solids. Fuel filters will simply pull the solids out because they plug up filters whereas fuel polishers break down the combustible solids so that the fuel stays within the industry specifications."

Maybe this explains why the Separ filter used on my polishing system is quite different than a Racor. The first difference is that it's quite a bit larger. Second, it uses a high speed vortex to separate solid, water, fuel. Third, the filter itself is vertical, so when the system is turned off, the solids which were captured by the filter during the last polish, then fall to the base of the clear jar, and congeal the next time the polisher is turned on. I end up with a couple of centimeter sized lumps at the bottom.
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Old 26-05-2015, 14:31   #67
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Re: Fuel Filtration Systems

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
But it does end the problem and concern once and for all. For the cost to rid yourself of one bad tank of fuel and the repairs associated with it... not to mention the hassle in dealing with the situation, you can have a fuel polishing system.... and stop worrying about the cause, spending money on biocides, etc. etc.

Consider it preventative maintenance. I got the idea from other CF full time cruisers.
Yes, certainly, I agree.

It's overkill in the first world, but this is something (fuel for your diesel engine) where overkill might not be undesirable.

But the main thing is to control water in the tank, catch it, and eliminate it before the bugs start to grow. Fuel polishing is not the only way to do this. A sump with a drain in it -- used regularly -- is even better, for this narrow task. Or a sump with a low dip tube in it.
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Old 26-05-2015, 14:32   #68
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Re: Fuel Filtration Systems

From Compass Marine. Another great article from Maine Sail.
http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/r...ng_a_fuel_tank
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Old 26-05-2015, 14:43   #69
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Re: Fuel Filtration Systems

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
. . . I end up with a couple of centimeter sized lumps at the bottom.
Ken, then you've got bigger problems. I would have that tank cleaned out. You should not have that kind of carp in your tank.
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Old 26-05-2015, 14:43   #70
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Re: Fuel Filtration Systems

I've learned that a lot of problems can be prevented just by checking your fuel filter once in a while and draining the crap out of it while it is still low and before it clogs up the filter and the engine wouldn't run! Especially after long periods of the boat sitting.
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Old 26-05-2015, 14:47   #71
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Re: Fuel Filtration Systems

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Ken, then you've got bigger problems. I would have that tank cleaned out. You should not have that kind of carp in your tank.
It just happened the first time I polished the entire tank. The lumps haven't grown since then. But it did show me how the Racor alone doesn't get the stuff from the bottom of the tank.
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Old 26-05-2015, 14:49   #72
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Re: Fuel Filtration Systems

Very interesting read, but some thoughts. The Baja filter is great but will not separate water from fuel. If you add any treatment to your fuel that has an emulsifier in it water will not be separated with a filter funnel or your racor. I have the racor 500 on my boat and feel the the water separator is fairly useless with my 3/4 gallon an hour use. Maybe at 40 gallons an hour but not my boat. In my humble opinion I feel that most fuel gets contaminated from sitting sometimes for years or from low use marina fueling stations.

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Old 26-05-2015, 14:59   #73
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Re: Fuel Filtration Systems

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Originally Posted by Badsanta View Post
Very interesting read, but some thoughts. The Baja filter is great but will not separate water from fuel. If you add any treatment to your fuel that has an emulsifier in it water will not be separated with a filter funnel or your racor. I have the racor 500 on my boat and feel the the water separator is fairly useless with my 3/4 gallon an hour use. Maybe at 40 gallons an hour but not my boat. In my humble opinion I feel that most fuel gets contaminated from sitting sometimes for years or from low use marina fueling stations.app
Your diesel engine circulates more than 3/4 gallon per hour. It also circulates fuel through other parts of the engine for lubrication and cooling purposes then returns it to your tank.
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Old 26-05-2015, 15:09   #74
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Re: Fuel Filtration Systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Maybe this explains why the Separ filter used on my polishing system is quite different than a Racor. The first difference is that it's quite a bit larger. Second, it uses a high speed vortex to separate solid, water, fuel. Third, the filter itself is vertical, so when the system is turned off, the solids which were captured by the filter during the last polish, then fall to the base of the clear jar, and congeal the next time the polisher is turned on. I end up with a couple of centimeter sized lumps at the bottom.
That sounds pretty much just like our Racor - it has a vortex separator and the filter is vertical and solids fall to the bottom of a clear jar.

One thing to note is that, at least on the Racors, the vortex part requires much higher fuel flow to work than that provided by just the engine fuel pump. In regular engine use, this aspect is wasted. It is also wasted in many home built polishing systems that use a little Walbro or similar pump. The water-shedding properties of the filter media itself still works fine, though.

Put in a polishing system with a high-volume gear pump, however, and it works well. Our Reverso pumping through our Racor 1000 sets up a visual tornado inside the chamber with heavier particles and water droplets flying out to the sides and running down the bowl. Luckily, the most we really see is just the vortex, and not the particles/water!

Mark
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Old 27-05-2015, 07:29   #75
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Re: Fuel Filtration Systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
A lot of my cruising friends seem to be getting diesel bug problems so I try to take all reasonable steps to avoid the problem. Fuel polishing is only a small part of the picture, but I think it helpful. If you install the system yourself the components are not expensive. Polishing also seems to eliminate (or at least delay) the rotten job of periodically cleaning the tank.

Other steps are:

Make sure the fuel cap has a good O ring and the vent is in a sensible location.
Buy fuel from reputable high volume sellers
Test a sample of the fuel for water and clarity before it goes into the tank
Filter the fuel as it enters the tank with a funnel filter.
Have a high volume primary filter with a back up (dual filter system)
A tank with big inspection/cleaning hatches
Check a sample of the fuel from the bottom of the tank periodically.
Check a sample of the fuel from the bottom of the primary filter periodically.
Inspect the tank and clean if necessary
Carry lots of spare filters. With a bug problem they will clog very quickly
Use a biocide
Carry a spare jerry can of fuel (preferably from a different supply) and some spare fuel hose to jury rig an independent supply

Nigel Calder reports that Lucas estimates 90% of Diesel engine problems are due to fuel contamination. That sounds much high to me, but clean fuel is important to a diesel. It is worth making some effort to try and get the fuel supply as clean as possible.
All worthwhile points PLUS
Have a day tank (say 12 to 24 hours of fuel) that is gravity feed to the engine and filled from main tanks via normal filters and electric transfer pump. This should ensure engine is only getting clean fuel. Also makes bleeding easy due to gravity feed and decreases problems on minor leaks (fuel leaks out rather than air getting sucked in). If one does has a have a main tank problem, one should have quite a few hours to resolve it before day tank is dry.

I also strongly endorse Dockheads sump drain. I use mine regularly and it is nice to know that there is no water / crud building up in the tank. Takes all of 15 seconds to drain off a sample. Please note that ALL aircraft fuel tanks have drain sumps and these are drained at daily inspections and after every refueling.
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